Review by Majin Jekku
Chaos in Hyrule! Link has never been so greedy!
All right, well... I must say that this game looked really terrible when I saw the screens from E3 2002. Everyone thought it would be a port of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past/The Four Swords. However, fast forward and then we saw what this game was REALLY about.
Think of it as a sequel to The Four Swords on the Game Boy Advance. The graphics are very similar to the GBA version but it is really different at the same time. Confused? Well, I'll explain in this review. Now, keep in mind that I haven't played the GBA version. So, I don't know if they ported any environments from it.
All right. The story isn't anything special. Basically, Zelda and six other maidens (one with pig tails, she's the hottie) are kidnapped by Shadow Link. Well, Link goes to the Four Sword and acquires it, which splits him into four versions of himself. Each Link has a different colored tunic. So, yeah... The Links have to quest through Hyrule to free Zelda and the six maidens. It's not that is cheesy, bad, or unoriginal. ... Okay. It is sort of unoriginal... But, in my opinion... It gets the job done and I'm not complaining about it.
The first thing I'd like to say is that... This is what connectivity is all about. I didn't get to play Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles but... I have played other games that use the GBA and the GCN. But, this was very impressive. The thing that makes the connectivity stand out is the fact that you're in this huge area on the screen and then you go into a house or cave and look down at your GBA screen and play on that. It gives you some privacy from other players. However, if three players are waiting to move on... The person that is else where on the GBA will be humiliated or whatever... A screen of the GBA will come up on the TV and you can laugh or guide your friend to where the rest of the group is.
All right. Hyrule Adventure mode is like The Four Swords on GBA which was like A Link to the Past. So anyway, there are four different Links. Each one is controlled by a player. You must work with each other and against each other to become victorious in this game.
You're going to be competing for force gems and items like the boomerang. Force gems are Hyrule's currency in this game. You can gamble with them or just save until the end of the level. The items like the boomerang will pop up and if no one has an item... Your friends will fight for it on the game until someone finally gets it. You can only carry one item at a time. And, if you see another item such as the bow... You put the boomerang down and get the bow. And, there are sometimes more than one of each same item to choose from in a level so don't get discouraged if someone beats you to it.
You and your friends will have to cooperate to push and pull large objects. And, you will all have to stick together for the most part. You can't leave the newbie behind and come back for him/her later. The levels are divided by "screens" like in A Link to the Past. A player cannot leave the screen without the other players. You all have to move to the next screen together. But, you can go into caves, houses and manholes on the screen without the other players. There will be items that one player might have and the other three don't and that player will have to use the item to go further into the game. Sometimes, players will have to solve puzzles together or stand on switches to open a door. Players will also have to fight off mass amounts of enemies in combat or they might have to cooperate to beat a boss.
At the end of each stage... You will go to the Hero Ranking screen. You will be given points and you will be deducted points. First there will be a vote. You will pick on your GBA which player was the most bothersome and which player was the most helpful. The player who is the most helpful gets points added to his/her score and the person who gets the most bothersome will have points deducted. You will have points taken away for lives lost or points given to you for the person with the most heart containers. I don't think you win anything for having the most points at the end of the Hero Ranking. I think it is sort of a pride type thing.
During battles in this game... Like, when you fight tons of enemies all at once... There so many sprites and so many explosions... You can lose your Link really easily and you might possibly start watching another person's Link for a little bit. But, it's to be expected I guess... Adds to the thrill. Maybe it was just me. Same thing happens when you are fighting one another for gems and/or items.
Well, I just got the game today and we are currently on break. Everyone went to run some errands and we're gonna continue later tonight. So, we aren't finished. So, I don't really know the depth of the game. But, (minor spoiler?) we saved the first maiden and we went through three levels before we finally got her. If there are seven girls to save and I'm assuming there are three levels before you save each girl... I bet there are at least... 21 levels in the game. Do NOT quote me on that.
I haven't played the one player, two player or three player Hyrule Adventure. I've heard that you control all of the links at the same time in one player and I've also heard that Nintendo made the single player mode enjoyable unlike SquareEnix or whatever in Final Fantasy. No offense to anyone who loved single player on that game. But, I heard it was kinda dull. Back to Zelda! In two player and three player... I think the you work in teams. Like, in two player... both players control two Links and in three player mode, I think one person is stuck with an extra Link. Don't take my word on that either.
Well, the last thing I'll cover in Game Play is Shadow Battle. Take the game I have been talking about in this review and turn it into a multiplayer battle royal. The last one standing... WINS! There are I believe ten arenas in the game. You start with the first five and you must earn the other ones by completing Hyrule Adventure.
It gets really intense and really hectic this time around. You wouldn't think fighting a little sprite of Link would be all that fun. But, it is! Everything runs really smoothly. Very little slow down (if any at all). There are so many things happening all at once... You have to really know what you're doing. All the levels have some kind of trap you can set for other players while they are busy getting the bow or engaging in combat with another player.
It's just such a good feeling and I think it so simple... Anyone can join in and have fun. Nintendo said it before... People enjoy simple game play... Not everyone likes intense button combinations and things to know when to do when. You hack, slash, run and set all the traps off in the arena. I was skeptical at first. But, Shadow Battle has really suprised me.
All right... You have all these 2D sprites that run really smoothly for the most part. There are somethings that could've better looking and better animated... But, oh well... Those things weren't all that important. You have all these really cool explosions, smoke, fire, and such from The Wind Waker and it really makes the game stand out. A lot of people loved those special effects and I'm really glad they brought them into this game.
You also have all these details. Lots of shading and the camera zooms out and in sometimes for various reasons. You can also see the shadows of the clouds on the grass or the reflection of the clouds in the water. Setting fire to the bushes/tall grass is always really cool, too.
Sound and Music
So, you have the sound... Swords slashing and clashing together... Explosions and guards. You have Link who becomes quite vocal with his "Ha!", "Seya!", and "Waaaaahhh!!" All done by the original young Link voice actor. Well, I think the sounds are recycled. But, they are quite nice. A lot of noises from previous Zelda games. They aren't bad... But, they aren't really special. Well, they are special if you think about it. These are sounds from previous games, sounds from your childhood.
The music has been brought back from previous games. It's like the same tune or theme... But, it sounds a little different. They have some original music... But, this stuff also brings you back to the days of A Link to the Past and such. You can't go wrong with it. I love the music to this game... It's pretty catchy and old school-ish.
Well, you have three different options. You can use the Nintendo GameCube controller for single player Hyrule Adventure. Or you can use the Game Boy Advance or the Game Boy Advance SP. If you plan on playing this game with a friend... You will have to use a Game Boy Advance of some kind. Whether it is the original or the SP.
I've played using the SP and since I like the feel of the SP, I used it. You'll use the B button to hack and slash with your sword and the A button to use items such as the boomerang. You'll pick up or grab stuff with R and the L button is like a locater... So, if you get lost... It'll magnify your Link. Start pauses the game and I don't think select does anything.
I'm still sitting around... Waiting for my friends to show up so we can continue playing the Hyrule Adventure. But, so far... I think it is really good. Multiplayer was very enjoyable. I don't think this game is going to be played for just a little bit and then discarded. I'm very impressed with the games replayability as of now.
Rent or Purchase
It's Nintendo, It's Zelda, It's MULTIPLAYER! I say you should buy this game rather than rent it. Unless you don't have any friends that like playing video games or that just don't... Or for whatever reason... If you will never touch the multiplayer... Just rent it. This is a game that pretty much should've been multiplayer only. Single player must be good, but not nearly as great as multiplayer.
The Final Comments
In my childhood, the Nintendo 64 was really popular amongst my friends. We played games like Mario Party, Perfect Dark and Mario Tennis for like seven hours straight with breaks between every few matches for drinking soda pop or snacking on pizza.
When the GameCube came out, we were in high school and everyone got one. We all enjoyed Super Smash Bros. Melee and a few other titles together... But, really... We never got as much out of the Cube as we did the N64. We play new games these days and usually are done after a few matches or whatever.
But, I think The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures has at least given us a taste about how much fun we used to have when were were gaming back in the day. This what gave me the inspiration to write this review. If the previous scenario sounds familiar to you... You should really give this game a try.
The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords really deserves a 10/10. Thank you Nintendo. You've made another really good game... Another great game to add to my collection.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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